Traditionally, an incubator is defined as “an enclosed apparatus or process in which premature or unusually small babies are placed and which provides a controlled and protective environment with the right level of skill and equipment for their care and development.”
Take a step away from the Maternity suite, for a second, and cast your mind out towards the business connotation. We see business incubators popping up in every direction. We see property being developed purely to serve a networked, more fluid business community where startups and entrepreneurs can work together and have access to immediate, on demand business acumen. We see government initiatives being setup heralding in support for in-country skill and development that encourages innovation and creativity. We see Universities and tertiary education centres offering their students first-hand support in nurturing their own creativity and business ideas – before they’ve even had to apply for a job at the local diner for weekend pocket-money.
It’s here – and it’s going nowhere. The business world is changing – and it’s being driven by a torrent of creativity and entrepreneurship that we’ve not seen before. Startups are the tour de force that are shaping the much larger, more dominant corporate landscape and rattling their foundations of market-share and competitive advantage.
Hence the ironclad importance of nurturing a new culture of innovation and development: one that equips the entire business community with agility and new design.
Corporate Venture Capital is becoming the currency for agility and competitive advantage – empowering investing firms obtain a window on new technologies, to enter new markets, to identify acquisition targets and/or to access new resources. But Corporate Ventures are not merely about throwing capital into the mix and relaxing back enjoying the spoils of your investment. There’s a bigger, arguably more crucial, role that you as the Corporate Venture investor needs to play – and that is becoming intrinsically involved in your investment. You see, those receiving the investment are happy for the injection of capital – and for many, that’s all that they need. But for the majority of startups and entrepreneurs, they’re expecting far more. Select any one, or all of the following, and you’ll soon realise that there is more to Corporate Venture Capital than simply signing a cheque.
Your chosen investment may, as part of the deal, be looking for more from you. They may be expecting:
- Your management and marketing expertise
- Strategic direction and insight from you
- A potential line of credit
- Your industry expertise
- Reliance on your prestigious, established brand name.
- Reliance on your stable financial standing
- Your network of connections
- An ecosystem of developed products
Remember – they’re in demand – and if they’re hot property, these startups will not be spoilt for choice when it comes to Corporate Venturing. Which is why there is more you can do to ensure that you both receive what you expect, and what you agree to.
Let’s get back to the Incubator idea for a second.
It’s time to put a team in place that has worked with organisations of all sizes. You need a team who has industry experience, business acumen and commercial knowledge about driving growth and influencing the right change. Where many would consider additional investment in putting teams in place to form task groups to now administer and collaborate with their new investment, there’s a new incubator kid in town.
Consider something a little different.
CFPro Ventures stems from years of industry experience. We’ve turned businesses from distress into profit. We’ve helped leadership teams get focussed on the right strategy that will see growth. We’ve led businesses ourselves through all business cycle stages.
Why not let us become your incubator secret weapon. Let us work in partnership with both you and your invested business and deliver the results both you, and they, expect.
Talk to us today about getting started.